The Return- The IT – The Chair – The Clinic

June 12, 2010 at 12:35 am 4 comments

Thursdays have become a trigger day for me . Thursday afternoons around 2:30 bring into my consciousness a memory video so full of hurt there are no words I am capable of writing to describe “it” and it is an “it” a living breathing ,cold soul destroying emptiness , a tentacled beast that wraps itself and feeds off your heart and being , “it” accompanies you like some invisible “secret unwanted friend” .

There has been no rest or time to heal at all in the last 6 1/2 months, wounds are still torn and bleeding. It was with disbelief that Nikki was told she needed to take Gavin to Clinic ( main campus) for an ultra sound on a Thursday at 2:30 and in the very same building and unit where we had to say goodbye to Chris. We tried to go anywhere but there:

No ! sorry, primary pediatrician, out of network, pediatric technician etc. etc. etc.

We geared ourselves up for the journey back to gut wrenching grief for a week. The day came , she and I and Gavin (innocent of all that was going on) approached the Clinic .

As we drove down the familiar entranceway our eyes were drawn to one window. It was he window of the room where my son, her brother had passed . The window , to the room where we had spent his last moments, the sun reflecting off of its large pane, like some obscene beacon calling us to remember and relive the worst time of our lives.

Valet Parking- once again- Oh! the times just one year ago that I had made that drop off, usually with a packed mini cooler of food from home for Chris , whilst he was undergoing stem cells transplants.

Nikki, looking calm to those that were waiting to get their cars , her mood and feelings only betrayed by the shaking of her hands as she buckled Gavin into his stroller.

The automatic doors opened welcoming us into our own hell of remembrance. We walked into the parallel world once more, through the corridors , passed the flooding memories of places we had frequented , down the same elevator , not speaking- each of us trying to make this journey seem normal.

I was inwardly waging a war against the panic attack that was coursing through my being, the desire to run , run anywhere but not here , not to be back in this place of hope and death.
We turned the corner and there it was the waiting room” that same damned waiting room where just one year ago I had sat waiting for other scans and tests , a port to be put in and port to be taken out .

The last time I had sat in this particular waiting room I was filled with hope for my son, June 29th ,2009. I had sat there alone as the port was coming out and he was “cancer free”- I watched the TV in that waiting room , Chis’ Meinke commercial playing on CNN and held onto the thought that was a good omen.

We had left that waiting room , he and I went to his oncologist for the good news .We ran out of there to two of us breathing the fresh air of success and living – full of relief and to a celebratory late lunch – Chris was full of plans that day , we laughed , cried a little and enjoyed- only to have the obscenity of cancer make its presence known two weeks later.

Nothing had changed in that waiting room, still the chairs were filled with people and their own stories. Nikki went to the desk where a familiar face still took the information as they had done when Chris signed in .

There was no reaction from those who waited so the scream that was exploding through me must have remained silent, the tears streaming from my eyes caught by the bottom rim of the sun glasses puddling and filling the space between eyes and cheeks- trapped as were we!

Neither Nikki or I said a word as to what each of us was thinking and feeling, we didn’t have to- we knew- to speak out loud would’ve set off an emotional earthquake neither of us could have been able to control.

Gavin, thankfully and blissfully unaware, decided to make his presence known to all and sundry and kept us grounded. Blue eyes full of curiousity , little legs wanting to explore this strange world., little hands trying to reach door handles -just out of reach .

Mother and son went into the room for the test, leaving me once again to wait and worry and remember.

The test was good, Gavin was hungry and ready to roll, Nikki still shaking- not only ( I believe ) from reliving the past months but experiencing the fear that follows every mother when it comes to her child, her son and something maybe not right. It is a fear that never goes away as long as a mother lives. This journey upon which she has recently embarked.

We left the Clinic, waited once again for the Valet Parking – standing in the same spot we had stood so many times before some days with hope another with despair. The parallel world loathe to release us and the “it” joined us on our journey home having grown all-powerful once more fed and sated by the meal of memory.


Entry filed under: Chris Ritchey, death, grief, health, medical, Mothers. Tags: , , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. dave c  |  June 12, 2010 at 3:54 am

    Loraine – this is straight from your heart; raw with emotion and wrought with poetry. Thank you for sharing this deep and personal essay.
    Love you!

  • 2. Lisa  |  June 13, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    What a post to come back to! Where was the warning to fasten our seat belts and hold on? You tell the stories of your journey with such eloquence and feeling. I wish I could write like you do.

    I’m so glad that all is well with Gavin! Coming out of that place with good news is a wonderful thing. 🙂

  • 3. thatwoman  |  June 13, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Coming out of that place at all is a positive 😦 Oh Lisa you do write beautifully when something comes from the “heart” as your posts do there is no fault to find , no technique problems or gramatical mistakes ( I gave up on those years ago….) just a “world of words” trying to describe a world of life…………… ” worlds are on my mind as you you wil see in tomorrows post…. SIGH!!!!!!!!!!

  • 4. To sleep- perchance to – PTSD « That Woman’s Weblog  |  October 26, 2010 at 11:45 am

    […] resources available – but the journeys continue as the Gorilla of Grief is my pilot and the IT is my […]

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